I’ll Be Waiting by Raymond Chandler (1939)
Tuesday’s Tale of Crime Mystery May 19, 2020
A sexy red-headed lady, foxy hotel detective, and bad boys with guns in the L.A. underworld. You’ll love this sleek little noir with its evocative language by Raymond Chandler.
Here is our femme fatale, Eve Cressy lounging on a sofa listening to the radio:
“She was all curled up with her feet under her on a davenport which seemed to contain most of the cushions in the room. She was tucked among them carefully, like a corsage in the florist’s tissue paper.”
Tony Reseck, hotel dick, is a slick guy with a bad history:
“He smiled his toy smile. His quiet sea-gray eyes seemed almost to be smoothing the long waves of her hair.”
The art of description, right? Nobody writes like Raymond Chandler, the way he plays the reader with his sassy style and wit. Every line has a bang to it: richness of texture, intriguing subtext in the dialogue, and hard prose. I love this writer. I fell in love with his novels The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, Farewell My Lovely when I was researching my mystery Greylock. My main character Alexei Georg had an obsession with Philip Marlowe—and so did I.
In today’s short story, we are at the Windemere Hotel in Los Angeles at one a.m. Tony Reseck finds a woman in the Radio Room. Eve Cressy has been waiting for her man for 5 days, stashed inside her hotel room with a balcony. Her man was just let out of prison. Tonight she ventures out to the lobby to listen to Benny Goodman music. No sunset, no deep kisses, but boy is this story hot. And, there’s $25,000 and others waiting for “her man” too. Murder is a messy business.
“You like Goodman, Miss Cressy?” Reseck asked.
“Not to cry over. This jitterbug music gives me the backdrop of a beer flat. I like something with roses in it.”
Read the short story at AE Library:
Watch the short film, a steamy one directed by Tom Hanks, starring Bruno Kirby, Marg Helgenberger, Dan Hedaya on YouTube: 30 minutes and it’s wonderful.
Raymond Chandler was an American author of detective fiction, the creator of the private detective Philip Marlowe, characterized as a poor but honest upholder of ideals in an opportunistic and sometimes brutal society in Los Angeles.
“The most durable thing in writing is style.”
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